It is time to give myself a break as a full time working mom, and I hope you do it, too.
Being a working mom comes with a lot of pressure. If I’m being honest, most of that pressure comes from myself and the unrealistic expectations that I pile on my shoulders. When I take a step back, I think the biggest mistake I’ve made is trying to do it all. Juggling my work calendar, school calendars, and a blended family calendar…it’s no wonder that mom guilt is very real!
The workforce is full of hardworking, determined, strong women. Most of these moms are just like me feeling like if you succeed at work you are failing at home, and if you prioritize home too much you are failing at work. It is full of moms that don’t want to use their precious PTO on something fun, because they may need it later in the year to stay home with a sick kiddo. And when you take that time, you know in the back of your head that all the emails are piling up in that inbox, so you keep an eye on it anyways while watching movies on the couch. There are many of us that have tears in our eyes and a heavy heart while driving away from school drop off because we feel an overwhelming sense of guilt for how the morning went. If we just had another half hour we could have gotten one more thing done at home, or been a little less snippy, or the kiddo may have gotten their hair braided, but instead we are racing to work to make the morning meeting on time.
I’ve decided that there should be no shame in enjoying the commute to work. Some days I live for that half hour of alone time. That brief period I can regroup from the morning craziness, and those moments in traffic on the way home where I am mentally preparing for dinner, homework, bath, and bedtime. Ladies, you aren’t alone when you are filled with relief after the last hugs are given and you finally have a chance to get those dishes clean and lunches made for tomorrow (or instead watch that episode on hulu you missed a few weeks ago). And when you finally sit down to watch that show, you check those emails one last time to make sure the next morning has one thing checked off the list already. You go to bed wishing you invested a little bit more time with the kids while simultaneously feeling like you just didn’t get enough done at work.
Add in where you are stretching what is in the pantry until payday, or days wondering when you will get those errands done and groceries bought, and squeeze in some fun quality time with the kids over the weekend. In the chaos of the week the guilt builds, and I am often finding myself playing the comparison game to other moms while scrolling on social media to top it off. You know the ones. Those that seem to have their acts together, the supermoms, somehow managing to do it all, and look good doing it. The ones that can do it all and do it oh so well. The homemade cupcakes perfectly decorated, the perfect newly remodeled house they work on in their free time, with photos blasted over their instagram story, and the family photos posted where everyone looks SO in love all while crushing it at work during the week.
So many days I find myself feeling like I don’t measure up. How often as moms do we try to be the perfect parent, leaving ourselves no room for mistakes? How often at work do we want to accomplish it all and crush the goals set before us? How different I would feel if at the start of my day I decided to strive for being present in the moment instead of striving for perfection? Maybe instead of resenting the interruptions that come at work and at home, I start to embrace the interruptions and imperfection of it all and give myself a little more grace?
The struggle is real and the juggle is real, friends.
Raising a family while working full time is one of the biggest conflicts but coming home every night reminds me what I am working for. Pursuing my dream is modeling for my daughter how to pursue hers one day. I need to start cutting myself some slack and turn off the email notifications. And then I need to NOT feel guilty about it. I need to remind myself a little more often that I can balance work and family and I also don’t need to feel guilty for looking forward to being around adults and overcoming challenges and goals at the office either. I found that I need to commit to what will help accomplish my goals and remove all the other crap that gets in the way of that. I’m going to simplify my life where I can and find that much needed work life balance. And finally, this year I’m going to give grace upon grace to myself to get through the long and exhausting days. I have endless grace for others, but why not give some to myself too?
I am going to start to say no to the things I can’t handle at work and at home. And you know what? I’m going to be just fine. The kids are loved. I survived the day at the office. It might not be perfect, but I am DONE beating myself up for all of the stuff I’m not doing well. I’m no longer going to put expectations on myself that don’t need to be there. I’ve worked so hard over the past decade and I am going to move on from wondering “what will people think?’ to reminding myself that “I am enough”. I can be a good mother and still follow my dreams. That’s why I write about the moments when I’m discouraged, because sometimes in the brokenness I can find the truth. The kids are loved. We survived the day. I’m going to give myself a break and cut myself some much needed slack. Are you?